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Melting Faces: An Exclusive Interview With Bassist SHARLEE D’ANGELO Of ARCH ENEMY

By Ruben Mosqueda, Contributor
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 @ 11:55 AM

"...the last time we did a 30 minute set was when we opened up for SLAYER in 2003! [laugh] That’s not even enough time to break a sweat!"

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Live Photos By Mike Lewis Photography

Bassist SHARLEE D’ANGELO has worked with some of the heaviest acts in the metal world, MERCYFUL FATE, THE WITCHERY, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, the melodic/proggy NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA and of course ARCH ENEMY. KNAC.COM caught up with D’Angelo prior to their sold out show in Portland on AMON AMRTH’s Berserker North American Tour. “We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to do this AMON AMARTH tour. We’ve done a tour in support of Will To Power, but we felt we could do a little more here in America. We’re also doing the tour with AMON AMARTH in Europe”, says the dark-maned bassist. Don’t miss this tour as AMON AMARTH are pillaging each city with ARCH ENEMY, AT THE GATES and GRAND MAGUS in tow.

KNAC.COM: ARCH ENEMY played an abridged set in Seattle last night.

D'ANGELO: Yeah, it was beyond our control, there was noise ordinance because of the baseball game taking place nearby and we had to shorten our set from 45 minutes to 30 minutes! [laughs] I can’t even remember the last time we played five songs and off stage. Oh wait! [laugh] I can, the last time we did a 30 minute set was when we opened up for SLAYER in 2003! [laugh] That’s not even enough time to break a sweat! [laughs]

KNAC.COM: For a band like ARCH ENEMY with a huge back catalog, to then be told you have 30 minutes after you’ve drafted a setlist that you can live with for this tour, that must have been maddening.

D'ANGELO: [laughs] You know, we didn’t think too hard about it. We selected the songs that we knew we needed to play on this current set list and we cut it in half. We weren’t happy about it, but we can’t let that affect our performance, things happen.

We have a dilemma putting together a set list, like I’m sure some of our favorite classic bands do. We have all these records and there’s just songs that we need to play. There’s songs that are on the ‘must play’ list and it’s getting more and more difficult for sure. It’s like we have learned to kill our darlings, because there’s just some songs that we’d like to play that we have to take out for this tour or that tour and it’s getting incredibly hard! [laughs] I mean even coming up with a 45 minute set is hard!

KNAC.COM: And when you have to cut that…

D'ANGELO: [laughs] Yeah, then there’s that! [laughs] That was really strange for us to do five songs at this stage in our career.

KNAC.COM: Why was it important to ARCH ENEMY to get on this tour? You’ve done some touring behind Will To Power, you could have hung around back at home and started writing for the next album.

D'ANGELO: Well, like you said, we’d done some touring in North America, but that was at the end of 2017 and we just wanted to come back. We wanted to do some more touring and to do these dates with our buddies in AMON AMARTH is such a great opportunity for us. So here are! [laughs]

KNAC.COM: Earlier this year ARCH ENEMY released Covered In Blood, a compilation of covers. You also included material that had been previously available from ANGELA GOSSOW’s time in the band. Why was it important for you to include that on this album?

D'ANGELO: There was this vinyl box set that we released, this [Covered In Blood] was released as an added thing. We collected all the covers that we’ve done. We usually record some bonus content for b-sides or bonus tracks for different releases. We felt that it was a great package for people to get all the bonus content all in one place.

KNAC.COM: I imagine that it’s probably something you’ll do again in the future?

D'ANGELO: Oh, I think so. We’ll empty the vaults again at some point in the future. Metal fans are still consumers of physical product. I know this first hand because I’m also a collector. We can press limited quantities of albums and the fans will sell them out, which will make them even more collectable.

KNAC.COM: When you say that you’re a collector yourself, do you mean vinyl?

D'ANGELO: Yes, but I will have to admit, because I have been on tour for the last few years, I haven’t done as much collecting as I would like. I like picking up different variations of albums released from different territories, with different content or different covers and stuff like that. I can’t tell how many albums I have multiple versions of because they’re different in one way or another! [laughs] It’s madness! [laughs]

KNAC.COM: What happens next for ARCH ENEMY after you wind down these North American dates with AMON AMARTH?

D'ANGELO: We’ll have ten days off after this tour and then we’ll do a European run with AMON AMARTH, which will lead us to around Christmas. In 2020, the plan is to focus on writing new stuff for the next album. So writing and recording and there’s a couple of tours that have been discussed, but nothing that has been confirmed as of yet. So, there’s a little bit of live work, but not a lot.

KNAC.COM: Is there anything discussed in terms of another live Blu-Ray or album?

D'ANGELO: Nothing that has been discussed, we did one in 2017, but I’d love to do another. I’ve always been a huge fan of live albums, especially 80s live albums. It’s too bad that live albums aren’t as ‘hot’ as they used to be, but Blu-Rays and DVDs do pretty well.

KNAC.COM: NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA is pretty hot right now. I’d love to see that band do a North American tour. You have to get the ‘right’ support slot.

D'ANGELO: I agree, it would have to be financially sound. I still see that as a new band even though we’ve released four albums. We’d love to do a tour of North America, but we are making an appearance at PROGPOWER USA, in Atlanta in 2020.

KNAC.COM: PROGPOWER gets the first exclusive performance of NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA. I imagine there’s a chance there could be more dates after that appearance?

D'ANGELO: [laughs] You never know, you’ll have to wait and see! [laughs]


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